Who’s going to pay for Catholic Charities new shelter? It’s complicated.
SPOKANE, Wash. — Moving the House of Charity to a new location isn’t getting any easier. Catholic Charities says it wants to move fast, but money could hold the project back.
Catholic Charities says initial projections show building the new shelter will cost around $11 million. To move the shelter, they’re asking for support.
“We want to go quick. We build a lot of buildings at Catholic Charities, and we know how to do it,” said Rob McCann during the initial announcement of the shelter’s relocation at the Mayor’s State of the City. He’s the President and CEO of Catholic Charities.
McCann also knows they want something in return if they close the current shelter at 32 W. Pacific Avenue and open something new.
Catholic Charities sent a letter to the Mayor with their intentions for the move. In it — they say this non-binding letter commemorates Catholic Charities proposal that the City of Spokane participate in this mutually beneficial project, which is dependent upon funding through city and county sources for the capital development of the new facilities, operational costs for five years and Catholic Charities full ownership of the property and structures.
Where the money’s going to come from for this project isn’t clear.
“The mayor is helping us to pay for one 24/7 staffing pattern,” McCann said.
“I wanted to make it really clear, there was no guarantee of funding to House of Charities or anyone else from the mayor or this administration,” said Johnnie Perkins, the City Administrator in Spokane.
“Frankly, Catholic Charities has some pretty deep pockets, and I’m sure they can contribute quite a bit towards this process,” said Michael Cathcart, a City Council member in District 1.
With no answers, questions are growing.
“We don’t have the big picture of what this will cost the city. We don’t have the big picture of how this will tackle the big picture of homelessness,” said Zack Zappone, a City Council member in District 3.
Zappone says he isn’t opposed to the project, but it’s hard for him to back something with so little information.
“There’s just too many unknowns to know right now what the next steps are,” he said.
Catholic Charities still hasn’t released a new location where House of Charity 2.0 will go. They say they have own three locations already that are zoned and viable options for the shelter.
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